“… non quia crasse
Compositum inlepideve putetur, sed quia nuper.”
The Master-Builder spoke not alone of his own time when he said: ‘Just you see, Doctor, presently the younger generation will come knocking at the door!’ He voiced the eternal dread of displacement, that most terrible tragedy of Age.
Age sometimes seems to see itself surviving in a sort of earthly immortality of influence, an exquisite wraith whose sustenance is human opinion. Like sounds which can vibrate to birth only upon strings of fixed length and thickness, so this influence must find a human organism responsive to itself or it must vanish with the mind which gave it birth. Age desires not to survive only in an epitaph. Age demands that Youth shall be its earthly immortality.
Youth knocks at the door of the House of Life and presents its passport to-day just as it always has; it will enter on its own terms whether the Warder will visé its passport or not. Just as once Youth gave the warm humanity of Euripides when the Warder asked for the sombre majesty of Æschylus; as it gave the vernacular Bible when the Warder demanded the decrees of all the councils; as it gave chemistry and physics and biology when the Warder demanded the classics, so to-day it offers a determined spirit of inquiry instead of loyalty to accepted standards; a broader instead of a more deeply thoughtful intellectual; a more socialized ethics instead of stronger individual virtues.